Friday, November 6, 2020

Opuntia ahoy—and more

I keep a running list of drive-by gardens, ones friends tell me I should check out. It took me awhile to get around to visiting this one. In fact I kind of forgot what exactly it was that made it a "must see", but I'm glad it was on the list.

I visited late in September. I suspect the tree just behind the fence, center of the photo, was felled by our wicked Labor Day windstorm, the one that started the horrible firestorms. I used Google Maps street-view to discover that it was a large, lovely Albizia julibrissin.
Looks like a cable was taken down as well.

The sidewalk view...

It's a corner lot, this is the south-side (previously we we were looking at the west-facing front). I really love the way the fence is set back from the sidewalk substantially, allowing for a wide planting area at its base.
Another look at the south-side.
The interesting thing about this garden is that it's made up of relatively few plants, repeated over and over. Tall palms, feather grass, yucca, euphorbia...

And opuntia! There were many spiky opuntia, most of them growing in the hell-strips.
I especially love this combination. The whole thing was very well put together, and a little on the wild-side.

And this! I put up an image of this paring on Instagram and got several witty comments. I think "Stop. Yucca time!" was my favorite.

Here's the back view, you can see how the yucca is using the sign-pole for support.

Just a couple more images...

And then I headed back to my car, and spotted this just up the street. Fun! Although the couch needs to go.
Nice tile work...
And what almost looks like an accidental planting of sempervivum and sedum on top of the clay oven.

Shine (bright like a diamond)...

Weather Diary, Nov 5: Hi 64, Low 50/ Precip .73" 

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I love how the hell strips and outside the fence are planted. Provides the home more privacy from the street and sidewalk but makes for an interesting walk and drive-by. The variegated Yucca is stunning.

    1. That yucca is rather common, but is such a fabulous plant. It glows in the gray days of winter (I have several in my hellstrip).

  2. I like the repetition of plants a lot and have been thinking that I need to do more of that myself. As to the Albizia, OUCH! That must have been some wind.

    1. It was pretty insane, an aren't albizia known as fairly week trees?

  3. I would not put Opuntia where a passerby could potentially fall into it, but it's a very lively, lavish and lush garden. And fun.

    1. Ya I suppose there is something to that danger, but they looked so good there!

  4. Lovely mix as it is, but I can imagine the large mimosa adding something extra. I'd like to see what the homeowner chooses as a replacement.

    1. I kind of wonder if they'll even plant a replacement now that the rest of the garden is so mature. I'll have to keep an eye on it.

  5. I also love the how the fence is set back from the sidewalk. It is possible when there is plenty of garden "real estate", and it's great fun passing along those sidewalk gardens on my walks.


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